Monday, May 04, 2009

Too Much, Too Soon

Taking it easy is harder than it sounds, especially when you get ripped out of your usual environment and have to make do with unfamiliar roads.

After driving up to Dublin on Friday evening, not running at all on Saturday was probably a good idea. We (well, actually the parents, really) were lucky with the weather for the christening, and there were plenty of people in Nana and Gaga’s garden, including plenty of cousins at the right age for each of our children, and they all had a great time. The cakes and snacks were delicious, I don’t know how much weight I put on that day; I don’t really want to know. Sure, it’ll all come off when I start training again in earnest, won’t it? Won’t it?

I’ve had my eye on that mountain for a long time, every time we had been visiting Dublin. And because I’m not really training yet, I thought it would be a good idea to scout out the route. I told Niamh that I would be gone for about an hour, and that I was headed towards Three Rock. Afterwards she told me she knew that this would not be enough time, but for reasons best known to herself she didn’t mention that in time.

I thought the only problem would be crossing the M50 motorway, but that was easy. The problem was finding my way to the foot of the mountain, even though it seemed so close. In Kerry, when they build residential estates, they make sure to leave an opening in the wall to enable walkers and cyclists to pass through. Not so in Dublin, where they seal off the area. Maybe they are worried about poor people on the other side. Anyway, after wasting a lot of time trying to find my way I ended up climbing over one of those damn fences. I found a road up the mountain, but after climbing to an elevation of about 850 feet (starting from about 200) I realised that 40 minutes had already passed and I turned back. In all honesty, I was rather exhausted by then. The heart rate on the climb had gone over 180 at times, which really surprised me. At the last 5k race 4 weeks ago I had just about managed to reach that level, and I had to run extremely hard for that. On Sunday I got there just by running uphill, and certainly not at race effort.

I was really surprised how sore my quads were today. I guess doing a major hill wasn’t the best option, less than 2 weeks after Boston. I did 4 miles on a reasonably flat route to Deer park, which is a nice area with a great kids’ playground. Then it was time to drive back home. We stopped for a break at the Rock of Cashel, a rather spectacular feature. I’m surprised it isn’t better known, but if you ever find yourself near that area (e.g. on the new motorway, like ourselves today) I can highly recommend it.

I haven’t made any concrete plans for my next training cycle, but I know which way I want to go. I’ll talk about it in one of my next posts.

Oh, and thanks to Grellan for pointing out this video from last year’s Cork City marathon. I like the shot 6:57 into it. Don’t I look pleased?
3 May
9 miles, 1:10:18, 7:48 pace, HR 163
4 May
4 miles, 32:57, 8:14 pace, HR 154


  1. Thomas, what route did you try and use.

    Its fairly easy to find.

    Either from Marlay Park up Kilmashogue Mountain following the Wicklow Way trail signs.

    Or alternatively from Taylors pub up Ticknock which gives you a well surfaced road route to the top.

  2. I'm a big fan of taking a month off sometime during the year in order to let the legs completely recover. No serious training for the month - recovery runs only. Heck you've already done two weeks off - two more easy weeks and you will be good to go!

  3. now that's how to celebrate finishing a marathon

  4. I look forward to hearing about your future endeavours. Oh, and you’ve been reminded, take it easy for a couple more weeks, rushing a recovery will get you nowhere. Cheers mate.

  5. I often experience a delayed "crash" like you described - sometimes I feel great once the soreness dies down after a big race, and I can even do some pretty decent workouts. Then a week or two later, they feel like they're made of lead.

    Looking forward to hearing your next plans. And thanks for straighteniongn me out about North America vs Polynesia.

  6. looking forward to your plans and next adventure